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romantic downtown restaurant in an impressive room?

I'm taking my boyfriend to dinner for his birthday this Tuesday. Since we live in Brooklyn, I'd like take him somewhere new and was hoping to treat him to a romantic dinner somewhere below 14th street in Manhattan. Money is a bit of concern, so I'd like to stay under $200. We're both particularly adventurous eaters, though my boyfriend is a bit scared of fish that isn't sushi for some reason. He loves Italian.

Most important to me is the space. My boyfriend would appreciate being brought somewhere unusual. We just ate at 1 or 8 in Williamsburg, and while we liked the food, he was most excited about the Eames barstools and the white-painted branches hanging over the tables. Examples of spaces I find way too generic are Hearth and Apizz. Peasant as it was a few years ago would have sufficed, but it's become a bit crowded and loud.

Any suggestions?

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Apizz
217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

Mar 24, 2010
lzp in Manhattan